A home inspection specialty is usually pursued via a certificate or diploma program, rather than a degree program. However, many courses in these home inspection programs can apply toward an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Construction Management or Real Estate.
Home inspection certificate and diploma programs can be found entirely online, or in hybrid formats with optional hands-on training. Most of these programs include classes focused on licensure or certification preparation in the field. Classes provide information on appliance inspection, proper heating and cooling, state inspection laws and structural surveys. Students can complete exams and interactive activities from their homes. Students may need to meet the minimum age requirement for some programs.
Home Inspection Training Program
There are typically no prerequisites for entry to an online home inspection diploma or certificate program, although some schools have age requirements. Students in these programs learn how to inspect home electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, structures, roofs, interiors and exteriors. These programs prepare students for state examinations to gain home inspector certification or licensure.
Program Information and Requirements
Home inspection certificate and diploma programs usually include 5-16 credit hour requirements and take approximately 6-12 months to complete. All class delivery is completed online at the student's convenience. Exams are web-based and many programs let students complete testing and assignments at their own pace. Additional resources may be provided in the form of videos, help screens, tools and manuals to enhance the participant's learning experience. Some programs offer an optional hands-on learning portion.
List of Common Courses
Home inspection courses focus on building structures, layouts, construction components and codes. Associate's degree programs also require general education classes, which typically include math, English, humanities and science.
Construction Components and Methods
Students of this course study both interior and exterior components and application of the methods used in light and residential construction. Carpentry, woodworking, masonry, blueprints, building specifications, power tools, leveling equipment and construction management are some of the topics covered.
This class emphasizes the foundations, conditions and techniques related to concrete. Students learn how to inspect conditions in concrete footings, foundations, beams and slabs, and how to write a report on their findings.
The components of wall systems, including trusses, frames and foundations, are the focus of this course. Participants learn to review the building layout and installation of walls, identify construction issues and use math to solve any problems identified in these areas.
Career Information for Graduates
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction and building inspectors earned a median annual wage of $57,340 in May of 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment of home inspectors increased rapidly in recent years because of an increased demand for routine home inspections on real estate purchases, but entry into the field is becoming limited in some states to those with certification. The BLS predicted that employment in the home inspection field would grow by 8% between 2014 and 2024, due in part to the growing concern for quality and safety in home construction.
Continuing Education Information
For those wishing to further their college education, online building construction baccalaureate and master's degree programs are available online. These programs typically lead to a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science in Construction Management.
In some areas, home inspectors can achieve voluntary Residential Building Inspector certification by passing an examination and meeting any other requirements specific to their region. In some states, continuing education is required to maintain licensure or certification in home inspection.
Home inspection online training can be found via certificate and diploma programs rather than degree programs, and students learn about structures, building methods and components, and safety codes. Most programs prepare students for licensure or certification as construction and building inspectors.